My husband has just taken a two year expat role near West Thurrock/ Grays. We are from Ohio and have never even been to London or the UK, so I need lots of help/ suggestions. We will be bringing along our 6, 4, and 3 year old children early this summer. My husband's company is paying for moving expenses, some of our housing, and the kids schooling. We know not to live near his plant, but does anyone have suggestions for towns within a 35 minute (?) commute. We need to have access to a good primary school. Since the company will pay, tuition isn't a problem. We are also Catholic, so a Catholic school would be fine. I think commute, safety, and schooling are our biggest issues. We would love to find a nice little town with parks, shops, and restaurants nearby. Again, any suggestions or places to avoid would be much appreciated.
I'd go for London as it tends (I think) to have a more transient population, making it easier to make friends more quickly (lots of people out there looking for new friends if that makes sense). But whether that's viable really depends on cost. Accommodation in london is likely to be more expensive.
Well you have all given me lots to think about. I think I need to just wait and see the exact numbers (as far as what will be paid for) before I make any decisions. We also need to know what schools the kids can even get into. I really appreciate all the help. I will let you all know what we decide. I am sure I will have lots more questions about all kinds of things in the next few months.